Dear PoPville – Some Neighbors to Protest Darnell’s liquor license?


“Dear PoPville,

I’m on an old email group from a past residence and there was a request from someone in the neighborhood that stated:


Members of the community are protesting the renewal of Darnell’s liquor license based on a significant number of complaints.

If you would like to join this protest group, or would like more information, please contact XXXXXXXX by email at [email protected] beforeSunday evening.

The protest needs to be filed with the District Monday morning, so if you would like your complaints to be heard make sure to get them to me beforeSunday evening.

Kinda weird to me…Darnell’s seems to be very low key, not mentioning that Blind Dog also is there. Thinking you might want to see how community feels.”

Anyone have a problem with Darnell’s?

26 Comment

  • Well, for starters, it’s not the cheese shop the neighborhood keeps clamoring for.

    • Just to chime in before this devolves into a gentrifying/nimby rant. My understanding is that the man who has spearheaded this effort is a 40+ year resident of the street and no some new resident who is trying to turn the neighborhood into Bethesda.

  • I live right around the corner and have NEVER had or seen a problem with Darnell’s. This seems like an odd complaint. I love Blind Dog Cafe (which operates in that space during the day) and go there almost every weekend. It is generally pretty low key at Darnell’s.

  • I also live around the corner and have never had an issue with them. It’s always been a super-low key vibe there. Probably the quietest bar in the area.
    My guess is that this is the neighbors who share walls with Darnell’s backyard. The smokers use that yard at night and they also occasionally have people out there during the day. But still, it’s nothing like the noise from the U Street bars.
    Sounds like sour grapes by neighbors who want absolute silence at night. Not gonna happen in the Big City.

  • PS – what’s the name of the neighborhood list serve? I’ve lived here for 2.5 years and really ought to be on it.

  • The last remaining joint near my home not filled with loud, obnoxious bro’s. Amazing to me that Darnell’s is being targeted. Amazing guy, great people, low key environment. I hope these people are completely unsuccessful!

  • I also live nearby. I’ve never had a problem with Darnell or any of the people at BDC, but the back patio gets very loud. I live more than a block down W and can hear yelling and music from the patio most weekend nights. I imagine it’s much worse for all the houses on Florida and W that literally share a wall with that patio.

  • Darnell’s might be great for the people who live “right around the corner” three blocks away….but it’s pretty unbearable for residents of W St. and 10th St. Besides the loud patio, there have been several instances of people leaving Darnell’s drunk and then drunkenly sideswiping 2-3 cars on the block before heading back to Maryland.

    • Funny I was just at darnells Friday night with about friends and we all live in dc…

      • That’s great. Congrats on supporting your local community. I don’t see how it’s relevant to the OP’s statement that SOME of the patrons were obviously from Maryland and drove, though.

        • Woah, hold on. There are people from Maryland visiting bars in the greater U Street vicinity? Someone call Cathy Lanier immediately!

    • I’m unsure how you can say with any sort of certainty that those patrons came from Darnell’s. There’s 50+ establishments serving alcohol within a 10 minute walk from here and all those patrons park their cars in our neighborhood. I agree that drunken damage is an issue in the area, but I’m not sure how you can pin it on Darnell’s solely (unless you’re specifically watching them at 2am stumble out of Darnell’s, walk to their car, and drive into other automobiles – unlikely).
      I agree that there issues with the bars generally in the area, but Darnell’s is seriously one of the “good guys.” Other venues – like 930 Club, Brixton, Velvet Lounge, and Town – deposit way more sloppy, over-served drunk drivers into our neighborhood.

      • This, exactly. Considering the general problem of parking on weekend nights, folks driving through this area are much more likely to get drunk at any number of other establishments in the area. I -really- don’t think that they’re coming from Darnell’s. If your primary aim is to reduce drunken damage, there are a number of more productive measures to take than boycotting one of the better area bars.

      • I don’t want to wade into this fight, but in at least one of the incidents mentioned above, a neighbor watched three female patrons leave darnells while having a loud argument, called the police when they continued to have the argument and physical confrontation in her front yard, and then watched the driver hit two cars on the block.

        • What you’re describing happens outside of every bar on U Street, literally, every weekend.
          Consider yourself lucky that it only happened once at Darnell’s.

      • I don’t want to wade into this fight, but in at least one of the incidents mentioned above, a neighbor watched three female patrons leave darnells while having a loud argument, called the police when they continued to have the argument and physical confrontation in her front yard, and then watched the driver hit two cars on the block.

    • I can see how the noise can be a pain, but can you blame them for a drunk costumer? If I get drunk at a bar and instead of getting a designated driver I decide to drive and cause an accident, can you blame the bar for that?

      • Legally, yes you can. The bartender should have cut you off.

      • I’m probably wrong but it’s probably something to do with the bar technically being responsible to the people they are serving, so if they “over serve” and the person drives home, it’s partially the bars responsibility for giving them too much. Or at least my friend told me something like that when she was a bartender for a catering service. Kind of ridiculous that you should blame the bar for getting you drunk though.

  • I life next door to Darnell’s and have never had any major issues. There is occasionally some noise on a Friday or Saturday night but that is to be expected when you 1) live next door to a bar; and 2) live in a large city. I would not say that any of the noise has been obnoxious or over the top. I completely disagree with this protest — if you choose to live in the U Street area you will have some kind of noise on the weekend.

    • I don’t have a stake in this — but it annoys me when people make comments such as you have that: “if you choose to live in the U Street area you will have some kind of noise on the weekend”. While this is certainly true of people who move into louder, livelier areas, I have a great deal of sympathy for someone who has lived in the neighborhood “for 40+ years” – according to someone who posted earlier, who then has to deal with a huge change in the level of noise and other inconveniences that may follow from businesses with late night hours and patio or other outside seating. To me the onus is on the newer, louder businesses that move into a residential or mixed-use neighborhood to enhance the quality of life for the previous residents, or at least to avoid making it worse.

  • Next Sat. night, walk in American Ice and then walk in Darnell’s and you’ll have your answer as to why Darnell’s liquor license is being targeted. Don’t dance around the issue. Howard University will soon be a big complex of loft-style apartments. Clarendon and DC now one in the same. My beloved city has lost its soul.

    • And there it is. What took you so long? Of COURSE it’s racism. Must be the ONLY answer, right?

      First, American Ice Company is across the street from no residence, next to no residence, and worked proactively with the neighborhood residents to consider these issues before they opened.

      The gentleman who’s living there for 40+ years and has legitimate gripes with Darnell’s owners, including improper licensing, loud noise on the street across from his home, and people peeing in his yard regularly.

      Darnell’s is also next door to a property he owns and renovated–improving the neighborhood–which now has depressed rental income because of the noise at night. I live a block and away and can hear it from my porch. It’s loud. Too loud. And Darnell’s could moderate it if they were more responsible. The gentleman tried politely to work with Darnell’s for a long time and was either completely blown off or lied to repeatedly. He is right to lodge this complaint and I wish him success–which is not the same as wishing Darnell’s is a failure. Perhaps they will become better community members and work with this gentleman to resolve the problems.

      Oh, and the punchline? The gentleman lodging the complaint is African American. Racism, huh? Lazy and presumptive you are.

  • I live around the corner and I love this place. Chill, friendly, diverse and low-key.

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